Touring India is a tough challenge: Clarke

The Australian captain said sending an advanced tour party will help the cricketers acclimatise to the Indian conditions.

Sydney, (IANS): Australia captain Michael Clarke has said touring India for a Test series always remains the toughest challenge.

Clarke, who left for India on Tuesday morning, said the tour remains a huge challenge because the Australian team hasn't won many matches in the sub-continent.

"Touring India is as tough a challenge as I've had in my career. Every time I've been there on a Test tour it's been extremely difficult, hence the Australian team hasn't won that much over there. So it's a huge challenge, the players know that," Clarke was quoted as saying in the Australian media.

The Australian captain said sending an advanced tour party will help the cricketers acclimatise to the Indian conditions.

"That's partly why we're trying to prepare as well as we can by sending players early to get them used to conditions, to give ourselves the best chance. We know it's going to be tough, we know how good India is, but we look forward to it," he said.

Asked about his unimpressive performance when Australia last toured in 2010, Clarke said: "What I've learned in the past is how important preparation is for my personal performance. I need to make sure I've done all my training to give myself the best chance of scoring runs."

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Clarke said he was looking forward to play the warm-up game starting on Saturday in Chennai.

"That's what I'm looking forward to over the next few days. Getting into the Indian conditions, batting on those wickets, facing a lot of reverse swing, a lot of spin bowling, and making sure when that first ball's bowled in that first Test that I'll be as well prepared as I was for this summer."

"I'd really like to play that three-dayer. I'll be advised by Alex [Kountouris] the physio once I land in India but at this stage my plan is to play that three-dayer. There is so much time I don't think there is any doubt I'll be fit for the first Test," he said.

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